- A busy year kicks off with lots of behind-the-scenes fundraising and organising – engaging with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council of England and others as we seek to secure the funds that finally allow a practical start on the delayed refurbishment programme and continued provision of engagement and educational activities. Thanks to these funders – and our Founder Investor Durham Miners’ Association – everything to come is possible.
- Ross, Redhills Programme Director, was invited to speak at the private view of the UCL Grand Challenges: Grand Impacts Exhibition within the South Cloisters of the UCL Wilkins Building in London. The exhibition featured an exploration of work supported by Grand Challenges and highlighted the range of impacts generated. Ross was there to discuss the deep place study focused on Sacriston and subsequently published as one of the Regional Studies Policy Impact Books.
- Darren Henley, Sarah Maxfield and Nicholas Baumfield of Arts Council England visited the Miners’ Hall to learn more about the plans for the Miners’ Hall and how we plan to engage communities and audiences from across the Durham Coalfield.
As part of our UNESCO World Heritage bid we welcome visitors from Australia. Colin Long is the Just Transitions Coordinator for the Victorian Trades Hall Council and bid manager for the two Australian sites featured within our network bid – Victoria’s Trades Hall and the Broken Hill Trades Hall
,. The Workers’ Assembly Hall UNESCO bid is led by the Workers Museum of . Copenhagen
- The Coal Face Washington project, in partnership with UCL and The Cultural Spring, started with participants being recruited to join the project through a call-out and then photographed at Washington F Pit by artist Andy Martin and interviewed by Sid Chapkin Award winning writer Dr Louise Powell.
- With partners from St Andrew’s University we hosted the Durham and Donbas in Focus symposium, welcoming museum professionals and researchers from Pokrovsk Historical Museum, Sloviansk Museum of Local History and National University of Ostroh Academy.
- We removed the final artefacts from the Miners’ Hall to ensure everything had been removed before giving the keys to the building over to our construction contractor, Meldrum Group. The final things to be removed were the Waterhouses Lodge banner and the portraits from the front of the Pitman’s Parliament.
- We welcomed a textile conservator to examine and safely store away John Wilson’s honorary Durham University robes for us.
- We developed our family-friendly Durham Miners Gala offer to extend to the stage and street parades this year. We coordinated poetry with Sacriston Youth and Community Project and Investing in Children alongside Rowan McCabe and Lizzie Lovejoy. We had a zine programme with local artists and Durham Area Youth, coordinated by Teresa Easton. We added Alfie Joey to the stage to curate our offer and encouraged some of our Youth Brass members to play Gresford with the Fishburn band to open up the speech element of the Gala. We also worked with Jack Drum’s Nosdestinos, Youthsayers and Oi Musica to fuse brass banding with the Brazilian carnival feel of Nordestinos.
Construction started at Redhills! After almost six years of fundraising, work started on the ambitious renewal of Redhills, the historic Durham Miners’ Hall.
Our CEO, Nick, was in attendance for the 125th anniversary of Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association. DAMHA still provide more than 1700 affordable homes in the former coalfield – one of the most enduring and tangible legacies of the Durham Miners’ Association.
We supported Queen Victoria’s Consort to perform in Stanhope to mark the 200th anniversary of Stanhope Silver Band – taking part in the historic parade, crossing the river Wear via the traditional stepping stones and giving a fantastic performance in the historic Stanhope Methodist Chapel.
Nick, our CEO, attended the blue plaque unveiling on the former house of John Forman, the son of a miner who taught himself to read and write before becoming a founder of the Durham Miners’ Association in 1869, and then its president.
The terraced home is just a stone’s throw from the Redhills Durham Miners’ Hall, where John’s statue stands in the grounds alongside other founders.
We held our annual Little Big Meeting, where we asked for those who know our communities most deeply – activists, organisers and volunteers – to come together, share, learn and celebrate. We asked two questions, what is it that you want for Durham and how can we help?
The Durham leg of our Tottenham Learning Exchange took place to coincide with the Redhills Little Big meeting at Sherburn Community Centre. The community organisers from Tottenham supported the meeting by sharing their experiences as best practice and learnings with the attendees as part of their wider visit to the area.
Durham Miners Hall is officially 108 years old. It was opened on 23rd October 1915.
UNESCO transnational nomination review of comparative analysis with partner organisations happened at the Durham World Heritage Site.
We supported community involvement at Lumiere by supporting the artwork by light artist Mick Stephenson. The large diamond installation reflects the importance of renewable energy in today’s climate.
Through the creation of the piece, young people were educated on the evolution of energy, from the importance of Durham’s coal history to the value of using sustainable energy sources.
Durham schoolchildren created their own solar lights that surround Diamond Garden, presenting a sparkling garden.
With support from Angela Tracy, OASES, Durham University Science Engagement, Durham Energy Institute Redhills Durham Miners Hall and Kromek.
Our annual Christmas concert went on the road to Stadium of Light Sunderland on the 30th anniversary of the last shift at Wearmouth Colliery.
We were treated to a performance from Durham Miners Association Brass Band, who were accompanied by Josephine Sidaway and Bill Elliott.